Parking your car, work life balance and exercising have more in common than you would think they do. I have recently been to a nutritionist to find out more about healthy eating and having a balanced diet – and one of the things that stayed with me long after the meeting was the unexpected advice given regarding exercising.
For a proper health balance, we should exercise one hour a day. Thinking about it, that doesn’t sound exaggerated but many of us find that one hour a day to be quite impossible. That was also my reaction when the nutritionist told me this, but the lady already knew exactly what I was about to say.
She starting by saying that this hour can be something else than actually going to the gym. She was aware this is quite impossible unless you are a sportsman by profession, truly passionate about exercising or really motivated to change something drastically in your life. The advice she gave me was to walk 5000 steps a day instead; that should be the equivalent of an hour of light exercise – enough for me to have a healthy work life balance, as I rarely exercised before. If a few hundreds of these steps can be stairs climbing, that is be even better – it would help strengthen your spine muscles. In an ideal and perfect situation, 10000 steps would be the goal, but 5000 is a good start for anyone wanting to change and improve their health on the long term.
I do run once or two times a week, I hike and bike from time to time – but I was wondering then how to actually walk 5000 steps a day, EVERY day? From home I take the car to work and almost anywhere I go I drive. I am not very active and therefore 5000 steps a day sounded quite challenging.
Achieving work life balance is important to me, so I wanted to do something about this. The first step for me was to get a health bracelet that counts my steps, calories I burn, sleep and so on. There are also apps you can install on your phone that count your steps. This way, you’ll know exactly how far away you are from your goal.
Work Life Balance and Walking
Then, the next step for me was to see how I could walk more instead of driving and how I can build a daily walking routine. It wasn’t that hard after I figured how I can actually do this. This are the things I did to walk more and achieve my daily 5000 steps goal:
- Parking on a street a little further from where I live – this way I have to walk longer from home to the car, and from the car to home when I get back
- Parking 10 minutes walking distance away from the office – I can walk through a park on a lake’s side to get to the office and it’s a really relaxing walk to the office and back once work is done for the day
- Climbing the stairs to the 9th floor where I work, at least once a day – it’s not an easy climb, all good till the 5th floor then it gets a bit difficult
- Standing and walking around the office (going for a tea, coffee, “visit” other colleagues and so on) once every hour for a few minutes
- Going out for lunch or for a walk after lunch for 10 minutes
On a side note, I think it’s easy for me to park some distance away from any destination – as parking is always a challenge for me, finding a spot where I can actually park means usually being less convenient in terms of distance to destination (in other words, my parking skills need a lot of improvement). But now I don’t even mind walking, no matter how far I am able to find a spot suitable to my parking skills!
Remember, 5000 steps a day is not difficult and it’s easy to achieve even as a driver, as long as you’re committed to get on the way to work life balance! If you really want to make a habit of daily exercising, check out this article – on how to create a healthy habit. Good luck!